People have told me not to look for a house in Borrassà as it smells of pig farming and yes perhaps it does have a country whiffy smell sometimes but so does Lamorna.
I like Borrassà very much.  Every time I arrive in the Emporda I go there for shopping and start relaxing as soon as I park in the small town square.
I don’t eat much meat myself and for most of my life I was totally vegetarian. The idea of pigs being reared in barns upsets me as do the conditions that all animals have to suffer as they live out lives in service to human beings.
But today I am sharing a photo of the butchers in Borrassa

It is strange to find in myself the possibility of liking a butchers shop but I do like this one. 
They are very friendly and non-intimidating. I don’t have any anxiety when I go in even thought I am not in my natural element – I have to speak Catalan and I need to talk meat about which I am almost completely ignorant.

So why do I go there?

To get food for Bonnie of course. After her tick disease I changed her diet onto one of raw meaty bones and it has taken me into many butchers shops and turned me at last into something more like a typical Catalan housewife.

I ask about liver and kidney, I buy whole skinned rabbits, I peer with interest at the pigs trotters, I try to buy green tripe (impossible to find so far), I stop the butcher from removing the chicken’s head and feet.
“No, I want all of it!”  I say confidently.

What a difference from the old days!  When I tried to buy chicken breast and came home with all the parts, not knowing what to do with it. Now I would know

Potatoes in Catalunya

Yes!  They are ready!
It was very exciting to go to the hort on Monday, armed with a new fork with red prongs, and start exploring around the now very bushy plants.
Suddenly there were potatoes – lots of them!  Both varieties did very well – Charlotte and Pentland. Of course I forgot to label which rows were which (is anyone that organised?) but I am pretty sure the Charlottes are on the left and the Pentlands on the right.

Is there anything more satisfying than digging up your own potatoes?
Yes there is – eating them!

Lightly boiled, slathered in salty butter and garnished with mint from the terrace.
We had salmon and broad beans and a bottle of wine to accompany them
In the sunshine on the terrace – bliss.

 And in case you are missing Bonnie here she is today – a seasoned traveller now on the trains. We went to Cardedeu for our Spanish conversation hour and she was please to find another dog further down the carriage – that’s why she looks so concentrated.

A Sunny Day

Well after that little moan about the weather, the next day dawned sunny with blue skies. Alright there was also a bit of a chilly wind from the mountains but if you stood in the right place, it was HOT.

We went to the beach in the afternoon. To beautiful Sant Pol beach

Found the sandy part has been further eaten away by the sea and the beach itself is now a narrow strip with a sheer drop into the sea. But it was beautiful and peaceful as always

The cormorant was sunning herself on the rock and there was only one man up on the cliff top gazing down on the naked bodies.

It’s Friday – time for Virtual Vermut!

It is Friday evening and I am wondering how to catch up with all that has happened in the last three weeks, for it has been a strange and busy time. Apart from the potato update I think I left you floating in paradise, at Sant Nicolau, in mid April.
Since then the weather has changed – several times – and I have flown to Scotland and back and both Bonnie and I have been ill. There have been festivals – Sant Jordi and May Day and now it is Ascencio.
What about a Vermut while I tell you some stories?

I flew to Glasgow for a Scottish wedding and had a wonderful time seeing family, at last having something to celebrate after the last sad year since my brother died.
I love Glasgow Central station

 Bonnie stayed here in Granollers and it was lovely to return from my trip and have her meet me at the station. But I noticed almost immediately there was something wrong with her. She was too hot, a bit subdued, off her food.  The week before she had been attacked by several ticks. Probably picked up after we walked the same path as some sheep – or it could have been the goats – who knows – they are hard to avoid here

 I took her to the vet and was shocked to find her blood tests showed extremely low platelets and aenemia.  Erlichiosis – a tick borne parasitic infection of the blood.
She had to stay in hospital overnight – she was too tired and weak to protest. Very scary but so good to have the wonderful Lauro Vets so close to home. It is 24 hour with an animal hospital and vets who speak English!  I know I can communicate in Catalan but in an emergency – it was so good.

 The antibiotics started to work very quickly and late the next day she was able to come home

 I decided to change her onto a raw meat diet and since then have been scouring the shops for cheap meaty chunks that she can gnaw through like a wolf. And liver and tripe and other strange things.

I had come home to sunshine in Granollers and the day that Bonnie went to hospital was Sant Jordi – the Catalan patron saint of lovers. The streets were filled with stalls selling books

 or roses – here’s my lovely friend Azucena helping out on a stall.

Normally I love this festival but this one was rather over shadowed for me.
I just wanted Bonnie home and safe.
Somehow living here in a strange land makes us even more close- she is always there for me

 Friends arrived from France, seeking sunshine and warmth.  No sooner had they settled in than the skies darkened and the rain started.  And I came down with flu. Fever and chills and body pains and weakness. Bonnie and I stayed at home together, resting and recovering.
Finally we all felt strong enough to go to the beach

 It was cold and windy but the Ona restaurant at Premia del Mar never lets you down. Lovely food and they are always so welcoming to dogs.  We sat inside of course!  Then had a refreshing walk.

Suddenly it was May 1st

 here mainly celebrated as the day of the workers but for me always a pagan celebration of spring.
But it was still raining!

Finally the weather changed in time for our boat trip to watch seabirds. We went from Badalona on the Quetx they have bought and restored and now use for sailing lessons

 We didn’t see too many birds, not compared to trips on the Scillonian, but it was peaceful to be out there on the sea on a calm and sunny day.
And now it is almost time for my birthday – it looks like it will be raining again from the forecast but I got used to that when I was young – Scottish bulls aren’t bothered by a bit of weather!

The Garden of Eden

Today was a lovely dreamy relaxing sunny easy day at Sant Nicolau

Bonnie and I went down to do some meditation at Blue’s resting place

I had noticed there were daisies but suddenly I SAW them – hundreds and thousands of daisies and it reminded me of being a child and making daisy chains

How many actual daisy chains have I made in my life?  Perhaps no more than 10 or so.
I decided to make one to leave for Blue

Then Bonnie for the first time went to actually lie on top of Blue’s grave

I am sure she remembers this is where we buried her old friend

It was very special down there today

Later I went into Figueres with Helen and we looked around the shops, searching for a suitable dress for me to wear to my niece’s wedding next weekend. All the other times I have been there I’ve found the town to be a bit sharp edged and unfriendly but today it was open-hearted and warm. There were musicians playing jazz in the centre and in one shop a woman was holding a small baby. “He’s my new grandson” she said  “Three months old”  I went over to admire him and he beamed at me. Usually I am the sort of person who babies turn away from or they start to cry when I speak to them. But this baby in Figueres seemed to like me and what a nice feeling that is!

Every single shopkeeper switched to speaking in Spanish with me even after I had greeted them in Catalan.  I carried on short conversations just to show it was unnecessary to change but it seemed they didn’t notice and doggedly carried on in Spanish. I know they are trying to be friendly but somehow along the way they have stopped listening and are only seeing what I look like – a guiri.

But I found the perfect dress and when I have the shoes to go with it – I’ll show you a photo.

There is still snow on Canigo and when you sit in the shade you can feel the chill of it in the breeze.
Bonnie is almost totally better now and when I got back from town she was overwhelmingly pleased to see me and what a nice feeling that is too!

Thanks for visiting me here – I hope you also had a sunny dreamy relaxing and easy day.